I’m sure by now that you’ve received a dozen emails, Facebook posts, or push notifications encouraging you to start a Bible reading plan for 2020.
Praise God! I love how technology has evolved to place the Word of God in front of us all the time and everywhere! But I have a confession to make: reading the Bible consistently this year will be a challenge.
Like it has been every year...
So go ahead and pick your next Bible reading plan, but you’re going to need the motivation to open that reading plan when you don’t feel like it.
Here are the five reasons I open my Bible:
1. The Bible Gives Identity
The only way you can adequately understand who you are and what you were given life and breath to do is when you look at yourself through the lens of the narrative of Scripture. It’s only in this story that you will learn that you were made by God and for God, that everything you are and have comes from him, and that you were made to live for something vastly more significant than yourself.
2. The Bible Gives Understanding
You will never know all that you need to know to live as you were designed to live by human experience, research, and analysis. This is why God immediately spoke with Adam and Eve after he created them. In the same way, God speaks to us in his Word so that we can know and understand, and in knowing and understanding, live as we were created to live.
3. The Bible Gives Comfort
The world in which you live can be very confusing, distressing, and painful. But the biblical story comforts us with another reality - that our world is not out of control. Rather, our world is under the careful personal control of One who is the ultimate definition of everything that is good, true, wise, and loving. We can rest, not because we understand what’s happening, but because we know the One who rules it all.
4. The Bible Gives Salvation
This is the ultimate reason for the Word of God. Without it, we wouldn’t know that our biggest problem exists inside of us and is called sin. The biblical story chronicles the great things God has done and is doing to rescue, forgive, and deliver us from our sin. The epicenter of the narrative is the Cross of Jesus Christ, providing for us the one thing that we desperately need but cannot achieve on our own - new life.
5. The Bible Gives Hope
The biblical story, because it is a story, has a final chapter. One day, the sickness, sadness, and sin of this broken world will end. We will be like God and with God forever. The Author of this Book has guaranteed the end of the story by raising Jesus from the dead. No matter what happens, we have hope because we know the final page has already been penned.
So as you continue to discipline yourself in the reading of Scripture in 2020, train yourself to to read the Bible as a story. This story has one central character: God himself, specifically in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
From cover to cover, the Bible is a narrative of his wondrous works and the blessings that are yours by grace. This old, old story imparts identity, understanding, comfort, salvation, and hope.
Has it become your favorite story to read every day?
1. What have been some obstacles in the past to reading your Bible consistently?
2. Are there changes you can make to your schedule that will prioritize Scripture reading?
3. What does your current schedule reveal about your priorities?
4. Which of the five reasons do you need to focus on most this week, and why? Apply either identity, understanding, comfort, salvation, or hope to your life today with specificity.
5. How can you encourage others to read the Bible? Think of ways to counsel and inspire them with gospel principles first, before recommending a specific reading plan.